By Nicole D’Andrea
Have you ever wondered what the house at the edge of the North parking lot of Sacred Heart is used for?
It’s currently the home of WSHU, a National Public Radio station that has partnered up with Sacred Heart University.
WSHU is a professional radio station that produces news broadcasts, feature stories, and various selections of classical music.
Two graduate students in the School of Communication and Media Arts have had the opportunity to work with WSHU this past semester.
“We are a talented staff of news producers, music producers, and much more. WSHU holds a special place in my heart. I have been on the team for about two months now, and I see myself improving each week,” said Natalie Cioffari, one of the graduate students working for WSHU, and also the former Editor-in-Chief of The Spectrum.
WSHU’s broadcasts extend further than just Sacred Heart University.
“We cover most of Fairfield county, but also regions all throughout the New England coast, as well as Long Island, New York,” said Cioffari.
WSHU also gives graduate assistants the ability to work hands-on in the journalism and radio broadcasting fields.
“I have never reported for the radio before, so it has opened the door to learn a new skill for myself, as a journalist.” said Cioffari.
Graduate Assistants are also able to enhance their writing, interviewing, and producing skills through specific field assignments and reporting opportunities.
“Print is very descriptive. However, in radio there are shorter pieces where you may have only forty-five seconds to-a-minute to tell your story to the listener,” said Cioffari.
Given the opportunity to report on-air and research feature stories quickly exposed these graduate assistants to the fast-paced nature of the news business. WSHU reports on local, national, and international news stories.
“A normal day in the news room would consist of receiving an assignment from my producer, Dan Katz, every morning, Monday-through-Wednesday. These assignments would range from writing general news headlines, conducting interviews via phone or in-person, traveling with senior reporters on public stories, and recording on-air news content.”
Both Carter and Cioffari have experienced different media internships before working with WSHU.
“I’ve done a wide variety of internships at News 12 CT, ABC7NY, MTV, and ABC’s ‘The Chew.’ They are all different and unique in their own way, because they all had their own intern description,” said Cioffari. “I’ve worked behind-the-scenes, and in-front-of-the camera for their websites.”
Carter also had some journalism experience this past summer, but the experience more specified to that of sports broadcasting.
Carter was also a senior producer and reporter at The Pulse, Sacred Heart’s television production.
“This summer, I worked as a production intern with Vantage Sports Network, located in Fairfield, CT. These internships differed in many ways. With Vantage, I assisted with the production of Connecticut’s live sports highlight show, CT Sports Now. On both a daily, and weekly basis, my roles changed constantly between roles as a technical director, audio technician, and stage manager,” Carter said.
WSHU has prepared both Cioffari and Carter for strong careers in journalism.
“Working at WSHU grants me the chance to expand my journalistic portfolio, preparing me for my later career goals,” said Carter.
WSHU will also have a new home later-this-year, with a new building across from the Wellness Center that will be shared with Public Safety.
To tune in to WSHU’S broadcasts go to channel 91.1 FM, or listen online at www.wshu.org.